If you’ve ever tried a crescent roll, you know exactly how delicious these savory bread rolls are.
However, they can be difficult to find at the store, so if you want to be able to enjoy some crescent rolls whenever you have a craving, it’s best to learn how to make them at home.
Luckily, it’s surprisingly easy to make crescent rolls at home, as long as you have the right recipe. We believe we have the best recipe for crescent rolls, and we’re going to share it with you today!
Read on to find out how to make crescent rolls, including tips and tricks for achieving the perfect shape, taste, and texture!
What Are Crescent Rolls?
Before we get started, it’s important to clarify what crescent rolls actually are. Because of their shape, these bread rolls often get confused with croissants, but they are not the same thing.
Crescent rolls are savory dinner rolls with a soft, fluffy texture. While they have the same shape as croissants, they aren’t flaky, and they don’t feel or taste as buttery as the classic French pastries.
Not only do crescent rolls feel and taste different from croissants, they’re also significantly easier to make.
While making croissants involves folding butter into pastry repeatedly and meticulously to achieve the perfect texture, you don’t need to do this for crescent rolls.
Ingredients You Need For Crescent Rolls
The ingredients you will need to make crescent rolls are fairly minimal, and you probably already have a lot of them at home. If not, you can easily pick them up from your local grocery store. The ingredients list is as follows:
- Flour (3 cups / 390 g)
- Sugar (1 ½ tbsp / 32 g)
- Warm milk (¾ cup + ½ tbsp / 170 ml)
- Yeast (1 tbsp)
- Egg (1 medium)
- Butter (¼ cup / 57 g)
- Salt (1 tsp / 6 g)
Crescent Roll Baking Instructions
Once you know you have all the ingredients you need to make crescent rolls, you can get to the fun part: baking!
The process of making your own crescent rolls is best divided into stages because you’ll need to make the dough, shape it, and allow for proofing before putting your rolls in the oven.
Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to make crescent rolls:
Preparing The Dough
1. Combine Your Ingredients
This first part is simple. Unlike some other baking recipes that require you to add the ingredients in stages, or in a specific order, you can go ahead and add all your ingredients to a large bowl for this crescent roll recipe.
This means you’ll add the flour, butter, salt, egg, sugar, yeast, and milk to your bowl and start to mix them. You need to make sure the dough is thoroughly combined. It should look shaggy and hold together as a solid mass by the time you’ve finished mixing.
2. Knead The Dough
Once your ingredients are thoroughly combined, you can transfer the mass of dough onto a clean surface.
You can lightly flour the surface if needed to ensure that the dough doesn’t stick, but try to avoid using too much flour because you don’t want to alter the consistency of the dough.
Knead the dough thoroughly so that it develops some elasticity. It should feel nice and soft. If the dough doesn’t feel elastic and soft, the finished rolls probably won’t have the fluffy texture you’re looking for.
To test out the texture of your dough, try stretching it out. You should end up with a membrane of dough that’s thin enough to see through. If the dough tears apart before this happens, you need to keep kneading!
Shaping And Folding
3. Roll The Dough
Start by rolling out your dough so that it forms a circle. Your circle should measure roughly 14 inches across, and ideally, if you’ve used the correct quantities of ingredients, it should be roughly half a centimeter thick (between 5 and 6 mm).
4. Divide Into Triangles
To make crescent rolls, you will need to start with individual triangles of dough. The best way to achieve this is to start by dividing your circle into quarters so that you have 4 large triangles.
Then, divide each of those triangles into 3, doing your best to make them all the same size. You should now have 12 equal triangles.
5. Roll Each Triangle From The Outside
Now it’s time to shape your crescent rolls. This might seem like it would be complicated, but it’s actually really easy. You just need to be gentle and precise.
Firstly, take your first triangle and place it so that the bottom side faces upward. Starting with the wide end of the triangle (not the tip), begin to roll the triangle.
Take care not to stretch or damage the dough during this process, and find a good balance with rolling the triangle firmly without pressing the layers together too much.
The Proofing Process
6. Arrange Rolls On Baking Tray
Take a non-stick baking tray, if you have one. If not, you can make a regular baking tray non-stick by greasing it thoroughly or adding a layer of parchment paper.
Space out your crescent rolls on the baking tray, leaving as much space between them as possible. Once the rolls are arranged properly, you can wrap some cling film over the top of the tray.
7. Wait An Hour
You will now need to wait for the dough to rise. This will take around 60 minutes, as long as you’re working in a warm environment. If your kitchen is fairly cool, it might take longer.
You should be able to tell when the dough has risen enough when it’s roughly doubled in size, or at least visibly puffed up.
Baking Your Crescent Rolls
8. Apply Egg Wash
Before you put your crescent rolls in the oven, we recommend brushing the tops of the rolls with some egg wash. This will help them to develop a sheen as they bake, and it will also help with that coveted golden brown color we’re always looking for in baked goods.
9. Bake For 20 Minutes
The crescent rolls should only take around 20 minutes to bake, but you should keep an eye on them from the 18-minute mark onward.
They could be done in 19 minutes, or they might need an extra minute in the oven, bringing the total baking time to 21 minutes.
It’s important not to underbake your crescent rolls, and you should try not to overbake them, either. That’s because underbaked crescent rolls will smell like yeast when you cut them open, and if they’re overbaked, they won’t be soft and fluffy.
Remember to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 180 Celsius, before putting the crescent rolls in the oven. If you don’t preheat the oven, the rolls will take longer to bake.
Tips And Tricks For Perfect Crescent Rolls
1. Use Flour To Minimize Sticking
Because your crescent roll dough will be soft and shaggy, it may stick to the rolling surface. This can be really frustrating, but luckily, a light sprinkling of flour on the work surface should stop the dough from sticking too much.
It’s best to only use a small amount of flour, though, because you don’t want the dough to end up completely coated with flour.
2. Use A Pizza Cutter And Ruler
Ideally, you want all your crescent rolls to look uniform and turn out the same size. You also want your rolls to be neat, which means that you should try to avoid jagged, uneven edges.
The best way to cut your triangles accurately and smoothly is to use a pizza cutter. You can use a knife if that’s all you have available, but make sure it’s sharp.
It’s also a good idea to use a ruler when lining up the quarters and thirds, just to make sure the triangles are equal in size.
3. Experiment With Flavors
Once you have perfected the basic crescent roll recipe, you can try to make your rolls more interesting by experimenting with different flavors.
If you want to keep your crescent rolls savory, you can add butter with garlic salt Italian seasoning before baking. You could also try making some pizza crescent rolls with a butter, mozzarella, and pepperoni topping.
It’s also possible to make these rolls sweeter by adding butter and cinnamon sugar to the rolled out dough before cutting it into triangles and rolling.
Frequently Asked Questions
We personally like using egg when we make crescent rolls because this ingredient helps the dough to rise more than yeast alone. Because of the lecithin in eggs, mixing an egg into your crescent roll dough can also help it to develop a soft and fluffy consistency.
With that being said, not everybody likes eggs, and if you want to reduce fat in your diet, you may want to make these rolls without the egg.
The good news is, this is totally possible. An egg is equal in volume to about 45 ml of milk, so the best thing to do if you want to remove the egg from the recipe is just to add an extra 45 ml of milk.
Alternatively, you can use water, but it’s best to measure water in tablespoons. You’d need 3 tablespoons of water to replace an egg.
There may be a very slight difference in consistency if you choose to use water or milk instead of an egg, but it will barely be noticeable.
Make sure your crescent rolls have cooled down fully before you transfer them into a container for storing. If you seal up your rolls in a container while they’re still warm, you could end up with condensation, which could make your rolls turn soggy.
Once the rolls have cooled down completely, you can use a plastic storage bag or a layer of foil to stop air getting to them and making them go stale.
There’s no need to put them in the refrigerator or freezer unless you want to store them for more than 4 days, or unless you live in a very hot and humid climate.
If you live somewhere with a lot of humidity, it’s best to put your rolls in the freezer for storage. This will also help them to stay edible for longer, since bread rolls can last for up to 3 months while frozen, as opposed to a few days at room temperature.
Make sure you wrap the rolls carefully before putting them in the freezer so that no air can get in. The last thing you want is for your crescent rolls to develop freezer burn.
You can just use a freezer bag, but if you don’t have any of these, aluminum foil will also work. If you have some kind of plastic freezer wrap, feel free to use this.
If you want to make the crescent roll dough ahead of time, you can also freeze the dough and come back to it when you’re ready to bake.
It’s best to shape the dough into crescents first so that you don’t have to manipulate the dough once it’s been frozen. Lay out your crescent rolls on a tray, cover it with foil or plastic wrap, and put the tray flat in the freezer.
Once the dough has been frozen, you can move the rolls into a freezer bag. Then, all you need to do when you want to bake them is let them thaw at room temperature before adding the egg wash on top and putting them in the oven.
Crescent rolls are absolutely delicious when enjoyed warm. The best way to reheat crescent rolls is to brush or spray them with a small amount of water and put them in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t leave them for too long, otherwise they could get burnt. 5 minutes should be enough time to warm the rolls throughout.
Crescent rolls are versatile and can be served in many different ways. You can cut them in half and fill them with your favorite sandwich fillings, or you can serve them alongside a bowl of hot soup or stew.
Crescent rolls are delicious and versatile, so if you’re interested in making your own bread rolls, this is a recipe you should definitely save for later. It’s easy, not very time-consuming, and yields incredible results.
Remember, crescent rolls are not the same as croissants, so don’t expect the same flaky consistency. A perfect crescent roll should be light, soft, and fluffy when it comes out of the oven.
Don’t hesitate to use a ruler to mark out the dough triangles before you cut them, and consider flouring your work surface before rolling out the dough if you’re worried about it sticking.
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